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John Merwin lives in Vermont, where, when he's not tying flies, building lures, or digging up worms with his backhoe, he writes the monthly Fishing Column for Field & Stream magazine.

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December 15, 2008

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Merwin: Tackle Enemy No. 1

Mice. They are sort of cute but just unbelievably  destructive. They have chewed holes in my fishing vests. And in my  waders. Once I had left a box of saltwater streamer flies open, and  mice chewed all the wings off. I just hate the little buggers.          

Many of my car or truck problems have come from mice, also.  Mostly they chew wires. Once, though, some mice made a nest between  the carburetor and the intake manifold on my truck engine of the time.  Eventually, the nest caught fire, probably because of wires that were  chewed and exposed. I was able to extinguish the fire okay, but the  replacement wiring harness was really expensive.

Because of mice, we keep cats. Two of them. I make sure the  cats have ready access to the barn area where some of my tackle is  stored. The cats have also been shown how to climb under my boat cover  so they can patrol the cockpit over the winter. That's the best  solution I've been able to come up with, but I'm sure it's not the  only one. Lots of people have mouse problems. What's your answer?


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Blue Ox

Small bowls of antifreeze or glueboards.

Alex Pernice the 13 year old fly rod winner

Use those scented dryer sheets 1 box per area.


A pie plate with mothballs in it under your boat cover will keep mice out of your boat. Also will keep snakes from crawling up in there. Will also work in your tackle box or rod box.


Problem with cats is that they might urinate in the boat. If it gets into any wood, good luck getting the eye-watering smell out. Cats also don't like the dryer sheets. You also have to replace them every few weeks, where the moth balls last a long time.

Jim in Mo

Cats, they'll also get up under the cover and have another liter. Don't ask how I know.
I had a problem with my cat defficating in my tomato patch and a garden specialist told me to put orange peels, plenty of them, in the garden. Cats supposedly don't like the scent of citrus.